Video: How To Care For An Orphaned Puppy?
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
Puppies are considered orphaned if their mother died in childbirth, underwent a difficult operation, or is unable to care for her puppies due to lack of milk or any behavioral or psychological abnormalities. In some cases, this can happen already when the puppies are several weeks old.
The principles of caring for one orphaned puppy are the same as caring for an entire litter. In most of these cases, you have to care for the whole litter. Caring for orphaned puppies in the absence of a mother is difficult, but if all the rules are followed, it can save the lives of babies. When caring for orphaned puppies, attention should be paid to the following parameters: temperature, humidity, nutrition, hygiene, disease prevention and socialization.
Temperature. In order for the puppies to be healthy, it is necessary to maintain a certain ambient temperature. Small puppies are not yet able to retain their body heat or tremble to create warmth. The required temperature can be ensured by placing artificial heat sources near the playpen with puppies: incandescent lamps, electric heaters, etc. It should be remembered, however, that the temperature should not be set too high to prevent the puppies from overheating. In order to control the temperature, a thermometer should be placed in the puppy arena. During the first week of life of puppies it is necessary to provide a temperature of about 35-38 ° C. During the second week, the temperature should be around 30 ° C. By the third week, puppies can already crawl and shiver, which helps them keep warm. At this age, the optimum temperature is about 24-29 ° C. Usually, a simple 25 watt light bulb installed on one side of the arena is sufficient for this. A thermometer should be placed under the light bulb to monitor the temperature. In the third week, puppies can crawl closer to the heat source or move away from it, looking for a comfortable temperature.
Humidity. As a rule, artificial heat sources dry the air. You should create a level of humidity that is comfortable for humans. To do this, you can place a wet towel in the arena. Remember, you cannot create too high humidity, as it leads to various diseases, in particular, respiratory tract infections.
Nutrition. Providing your puppies with proper nutrition is very important to their health. Commercially available free milk replacers are available from pet stores that are fully balanced to meet all the needs of orphaned puppies. But you can make milk yourself. True, its composition will not be ideal, but such milk can be used for several days until it becomes possible to purchase special milk in the store. Among the most famous brands of milk substitutes are Esbilac and Puppylac.
The recipe for homemade milk is as follows: 1 cup whole milk (cow's or goat's), 1 pinch of table salt, 3 egg yolks (no protein), 1 tablespoon of corn oil, 1/4 teaspoon of liquid vitamins. Mix until smooth and serve to puppies warmed to 35-38 ° C.
You can feed your puppies milk from a bottle with a nipple or through a special tube that goes through your mouth to your stomach. Bottles are best. The puppies are fed through the tube only with the help of a specialist, since there is a danger of injury to the lungs and cause asphyxiation. Tube feeding is essential for puppies who are unable to feed normally. Feed the puppies when they are lying on their tummies, not on their backs.
During the first four weeks of life, most puppies are fed only milk, which is heated to 35 ° C before feeding. After three weeks of age, milk can be warmed to room temperature. Puppies less than a week old are fed every two hours. Between seven and fourteen days of age, the interval between feedings is increased to four hours. At two weeks of age, most puppies can be left without feeding for eight hours overnight, and feed every two hours during the day. At four weeks of age, most puppies can be fed four to six hours apart. During the first four weeks of life, feeding consists of only milk at the above time intervals. The amount of milk varies from puppy to puppy, but is generally consideredthat a puppy weighing 250-300 g consumes approximately 30 ml of milk per day. Most milk replacers contain approximately 60 calories per 30 ml of milk, so a 250-300 g puppy will consume approximately 30 calories per day.
After four weeks of age, puppies can drink milk from a saucer. At this age, it is recommended to add dry or canned food to milk. Mix puppy food with milk to form a mixture that is similar in consistency to pea soup. Over the next three weeks, add more dry food and reduce milk supply until the puppies are seven weeks old. At this age, they should completely switch to dry food and eat exactly the same as normal, non-orphaned puppies. From two weeks of age to one year, special vitamins for puppies should be added to milk, and then to dry food.
Hygiene. A newborn puppy is unable to urinate or defecate on its own because it lacks the muscle control it needs. Therefore, puppies should be stimulated to empty their bladder and bowels. This duty is usually performed by their mother. It licks the genital area and thus stimulates the emptying of the bladder and bowels. Orphaned puppies should be manually stimulated to this end after each feed. This is a fairly simple procedure using a piece of cotton wool or a soft towel, which are moistened with water and used to wipe the genital area. The puppy then empties the bladder and intestines within one to two minutes. Usually, this procedure is necessary up to 21 days of age. Most puppies are able to go to the toilet on their own at three weeks of age.
Puppies should be brushed after each feed. Watch their secretions carefully to recognize the first signs of illness. The urine should be pale yellow or clear. If it is dark yellow or orange, the puppy is not getting enough food. Do not feed a lot of milk at one time, it is better to do it more often. The stool should be light brown to dark brown and partially formed. Green stool indicates infection, and too hard stool indicates poor milk composition. If the stool is too hard, feed the puppy more often rather than increasing the amount of milk at one time as this can cause bloating, gas, regurgitation, etc.
Puppies should be weighed daily to monitor their development. This helps to compare littermates with each other and to identify those who are lagging behind in development. Use a medical infant scale or other very accurate scale for this. There are no specific standards in relation to the weight of puppies, as the weight differs depending on the breed. Weighing will only help you compare puppies within the same litter.
Disease prevention. Many orphaned puppies are at higher risk of developing various infections, such as parvovirus enteritis, because they do not receive their mother's milk, which is especially rich in maternal antibodies during the first 24 hours after birth. This milk is called colostrum. It contains antibodies that help puppies protect themselves from many diseases. Puppies deprived of their mother's milk do not have good immunity. Because of this, veterinarians recommend that orphaned puppies get their first shots at four weeks of age, rather than six weeks old.
Give anthelmintics to orphaned puppies in the same way as regular puppies. They are usually given at four weeks of age.
Socialization. It is very important for orphaned puppies to have contact with family members at 5-6 weeks of age. It should be remembered that puppies are still very small and should be handled with extreme care. You should gradually accustom your puppies to house sounds, new people and pets. Socializing early will help the puppy avoid many problems in the future.
Was caring for orphaned puppies too difficult for you? Don't worry, there are tons of great books out there that detail how to do this correctly, and you can always take advantage of the advice of experienced breeders and veterinarians. Do not be afraid of difficulties! A beautiful, healthy puppy that you were able to raise yourself will be a real reward for you!
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